Living a sustainable lifestyle is something that ethical humans dream, if not strive, to achieve at some point in their lives. Even though it is definitely a struggle to live as self-sufficient person in this day and age, just by incorporating more “green” decisions here and there will make an enormous difference. When going towards a more sustainable lifestyle, know that you will not only be saving money and boosting your self satisfaction, but you will also be helping out with the downsize of landfills, reduction of your carbon footprint, promoting energy efficiency (HuffPost) and even more unarguably rewarding things that also give back to the planet. We are here to help bring awareness to some steps for you to consider bringing into to your daily life to help out your girl, Mother Nature.
1. Cut Down on Electricity
Electricity is something that a lot of us probably don’t focus on too often. We leave a light on here and there, fall asleep with the television on, keep our cell unnecessarily charging all night, but realistically things like this can cause a giant negative impact since a majority of people are living this way. If you are prone to accidentally leaving the lights on, look into purchasing LED or CFL bulbs instead of incandescent lights. LED and CFL bulbs last much longer and are more energy efficient. Even just opening up your blinds more often during the day and using natural light instead of the artificial nonsense is an significant change. Laundry is something else around the house that you can start modifying that will be largely beneficial. If you’re not in a rush to wear something, forget about throwing the garment in the dryer, hang it up to dry! No astronomical sacrifices here, just have to stay a tad bit more patient when it comes to your clothes drying. When the chilly nights start, be sure to bulk up on clothes instead of running your heat at an excessive temperature. Nothing two pairs of fuzzy socks and a comfy hoodie can’t fix!
2. Changing Food Habits
Food is something that most people seem to have the hardest time altering due to comfortable habits. Having to constantly be super conscience of what you’re consuming regularly is a hefty hurdle, but it’s well worth it. Going vegan isn’t for everybody, but it is something that has a really monumental impact on our environment and ourselves. A lot of people don’t realize that what they’re putting into their bodies is harming not only the animals, but the planet as well on a monstrous scale. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations did an assessment and concluded that the livestock industry is contributing more to greenhouse gases than transportation is (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). Even if you don’t follow a strict vegan diet, incorporating some form of a Mediterranean, pescetarian, vegetarian or vegan diet is useful for reducing greenhouse gas emissions immensely. A study done by Nature, the international journal of science, had found that if across the globe we all followed an equal combination of these types of diets, an 80% increase of greenhouse gas emissions from the food industry can be steered clear of (Nature). If you start maintaining your own garden, that could be a huge lifesaver as well. When you have your own garden you can start canning your own in-season fruits and veggies, be more motivated and inspired to home cook meals and even compost. Composting is material that can be used in your soil that will ultimately help your plants thrive. 30% of what we throw out in our trash to be sent to the dump is food scraps and waste from our yards, which could be used to benefit the earth all this time (EPA). No need to waste perfectly good nutrient and soil enhancers! If composting is something you’re interested in, check out this useful and easy to follow beginners guide.
3. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Repurposing within your home, or even prepping it to be repurposed once it leaves your home, is an essential part of becoming self sustainable. A huge thing that consumers use an abundance of is plastic bags. No matter what type of shopping trip you’re planning on taking, it’s more than likely you’re going to be using a plastic bag provided by the company at checkout. Next time you’re about to go shopping, don’t forget to grab a handy reusable tote bag. Good news too, most stores are starting to provide purchasable reusable bags if you forget yours at home. If you use lots of plastic bags in your daily life for things other than shopping, look for other alternatives for other types of bags as well. They have an eco friendly bag for just about anything, even pet waste bags that are biodegradable! Another thing that a lot of homeowners tend to have in their house is takeout containers. Plenty of takeout containers now are made of plastic and are pretty sturdy compared to some old school to-go boxes. They are usually dishwasher safe, and something you’ll be able to use for meal prepping, storage containers and even DIY projects! Recycling is something that you should try out even if you don’t have a recycling bin in close proximity to your home. Just because there might not be something super close by, the trip to a nearby recycling bin is worth the trip. Recycling helps reduce the pollution put into the air caused by waste, and we want to keep our air as clean as possible for us and future generations to come, am I right?! The fun thing about recycling is that you may never know where your recycled material is going to end up, but you do know that it is being put towards something brand new. It could be backpacks, phone cases, beanies, bikes, toys, soaps, clothing, equipment, picnic tables, toothbrushes, kitty litter, birdhouses, shoes, etc. The list goes on and on and these things can be made from YOUR recycled material. You just have to simply make the effort to contribute!
There you have it, now you’re ready to start your journey to becoming more environmentally friendly. These steps seem to be a lot to handle when viewed on a large scale, but remember that breaking it down into small daily changes can make a massive difference over time. Be prepared to become physically and mentally healthier, more self-reliant and overall much more satisfied with life, all while sending earth in a more positive direction.